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Houston Texans

Vandermeer's View: Texans heal and head for home

The bleeding has stopped. The Texans needed any kind of win to halt a three game slide and get back to .500. How, why, and by how many was irrelevant.

The good news is they dominated a divisional opponent on the road. An opponent that saw its last three games decided by a total of five points. An opponent that has historically given them fits.

Don't read much into Zach Mettenberger's near 300 yard day. Houston erased the Tennessee ground game and made the Titans a one dimensional team that couldn't score when the outcome was still in doubt.

Before the game, when we did our pregame show match-ups, I cited "the offensive line against whoever is in front of them" as the key. The trenchmen paved the way for over 200 yards on the ground from Arian Foster and friends, a season best.

The stars shined. Foster did his thing with three total touchdowns. J.J. Watt had two sacks, including a strip of Mettenberger. He batted down a pass that nearly turned into his latest pick. Even Jadeveon Clowney played a bunch. DeAndre Hopkins and Andre Johnson had significant grabs.

Ryan Fitzpatrick 'beat' a former employer for the second time this year, Buffalo being the other. Although he was sacked five times, he made some key throws, including two third and long conversions to help maintain a 98 yard second half drive that put the game out of reach.
Now, at 4-4, Houston needs a run. Philly is up next, then a bye, then Cleveland. As lopsided a win as this was, it's clear that the Texans still haven't come close to putting it all together. There's another level of performance this group has in them.

If they're able to keep the improvement momentum going, there should be an opportunity to surprise their critics in the back half of the season. But job one is dealing with the Eagles at home next week. They'll need their best game of the season to win two in a row for the first time since defeating Washington and the Raiders.

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